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NYC’s Slut Night raises eyebrows

2021-04-26  Paheja Siririka

NYC’s Slut Night raises eyebrows
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The National Youth Council’s (NYC) planned ‘Slut Night’ during youth week triggered a flurry of reaction by commentators, who say it does not align well with the focus of the week.

Slut is a term for, especially a woman, considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous. It is usually used as an insult, slur or offensive term of disparagement (slut-shaming).

Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda said that there is no discussion on the economy planned for the youth week. 

“Swapo National Youth Council, with government money, calls youth from 14 regions and 121 constituencies for the whole week in Windhoek and the events that are planned are a slut’s night at a bar. There will be another event at another bar – and it’s called Men’s Conference,” posted Amupanda.

He said they need to bring together the youth of Windhoek to discuss a clear programme of action – to be funded by the city – to discuss the economy and the role of the youth before they start believing their participation is limited to bars.

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Member of Parliament (MP) Inna Hengari tweeted that the leadership of the council should probably be happy they have achieved their intended objective with the titles of the different programmes. 

“Not something I would have gone for. In fact, I say dedicate a week to discuss unemployment or job creation,” said Hengari.

NYC executive chairperson Sharonice Busch told New Era the reason for the slut discussion is that the words ‘wh*re’, ‘b*tch’ and ‘slut’ are used to demean and humiliate women, based on their sexual activity – whether perceived or real.

“This form of humiliation is targeted at ensuring that women keep to their place in society and that their existence as sexual objects is confined to the control of men. It is gendered and coordinated violence,” stated Busch.

She added that unfortunately, it also increases the rate at which victim-blaming occurs in society, as the violence that promiscuous women face is often excused.

“A Slut’s Night is a direct challenge to the systematic and societal slut-shaming that women experience every day – open only to women and targeted at facilitating a platform where women can reclaim their power and bodily autonomy,” said Busch.

She noted more events will be happening during Youth Week, and that includes the Men’s Conference, which will serve as a platform that facilitates difficult and honest conversations with young men, especially powerful, influential young men on issues such as patriarchy, misogyny, rape culture and positive masculinity. 

“The event will be hosted at a place where men love to go for entertainment: a sports bar,” said Busch. Other discussions comprise GBV sensitisation brunch for Youth Leaders and a quiz night with games.

“There will be a GBV-themed quiz night that will address gender biases, harmful norms and problematic mindsets. The event will be open to the public,” she detailed.

She said the Namibian Police’s GBV Protection Unit, between January and October 2020 alone, recorded over 3 900 cases of SGBV. 

Thus, NYC board of council resolved to observe a national youth week against SGBV this year from 26 April to 30 April under the theme ‘Youth Ignites Zero Tolerance Towards Gender-Based Violence’.

- Additional reporting from Nampa.

 

- psiririka@nepc.com.na


2021-04-26  Paheja Siririka

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